UK based mutual Ecclesiastical have been buoyed by a forty million pound injection of capital from the end of 2010, raised through the issuance of noncumulative irredeemable preference shares, which CEO Michael Tripp says will better prepare them for Solvency II. The new regulations which will take effect at the end of 2012 have caused insurers to rethink their capital requirements in order to comply with the new regulations but Mr Tripp believes that Ecclesiastical are in a good position to deal with the upcoming changes. "We took the opportunity just to strengthen our capital base a little bit so that we'd have more flexibility and not be constrained looking to the future," Tripp said about the recent capital injection. One of the uncertainties about Solvency II, Tripp said, will be the level of capital insurers will be required to carry. "It just sort of feels like the right moment to just put a little bit of money in the back pocket”.
Ecclesiastical is strongly identified with the insurance it provides to the Anglican Church and a range of charities but it also has operations outside the UK including Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand which supports their belief that an engagement with the world is central to their role. They are also active in such niche insurance lines as education, care homes, charities and heritage buildings. The company describes itself at the 11th largest commercial property insurer in the United Kingdom.